Sunday, January 15, 2006

Second Sunday after Epiphany
Meditation themes during week after Epiphany and second Sunday after Epiphany from 'Divine Intimacy' by Fr Gabriel of Saint Mary Magdalen OCD.

"The Soul of Jesus". 1.Although grace was created equally by the three Persons of the Blessed Trinity, without any difference or distinction, its diffusion in souls is usually attributed especially to the Third Person, the Holy Spirit, to whom everything that concerns the work of sanctification is referred by appropriation. In this sense the tremendous gift of grace which filled the soul of Jesus must be attributed to the work of the Holy Spirit. The soul of Jesus possess every supernatural gift because "the Holy Spirit dwells in Christ with such plentitude of grace that no greater plentitude can be imagined" (Mystici Corporis)....The soul of Christ is uniquely beautiful, holy, intimately united to the divinity, and all this to such a degree that the Holy Spirit "takes delight in abiding in it as His chosen temple" (ibid.). He dwells in it with such plentitude and sovereignty that He inspires, directs and guides all the actions of Jesus, and that is why the Holy Spirit "is correctly called the Spirit of the Son". The Gospel tells us several times that Jesus acted under the influence of the Holy Spirit (cf. Lk 4,1). This happened, not under certain special conditions, but always;
2. Jesus, by His Passion and death, merited for us not only grace, but even the very Author of grace, the Holy Spirit, whom He had promised to the Apostles and whom He had sent to them at Pentecost. We too receive the Holy Spirit through Jesus; it is always He who, together with the Father, sends us the Holy Spirit.... We receive the Holy Spirit according to the measure of our union with Christ; the Holy Spirit, in turn, unites us to Christ. In fact, as St. Paul says, "Now if any man does not have the Spirit of Christ, he is none of His. And if Christ be in you...the Spirit liveth, because of justification" (Rom 8,9.10). "Christ is in us by His Spirit whom He communicates to us and by means of whom He acts in us in such a way that it may be said that everything that is divine is accomplished in us by the Holy Spirit and also by Christ" (Mystici Corporis).
..."O Holy Spirit, come into my Heart; by Your power draw it to You, O God of truth; grant me charity with fear...warm me and inflame me with Your most sweet love" (St Catherine of Siena).

"Living in Christ". 1. Unless the man is born again of water and the Holy Ghost, he cannot enter the kingdom of God" (Jn 3,5). We can attain to God and His Kingdom only through Christ, through our incorporation in Him. This was effected in us by "water and the Holy Spirit", on the day of our Holy Baptism. Jesus said to Nicodemus, "You must be born again"; and this means truly a new birth, because in Baptism we receive the seed of a new life. Before we receive this Sacrament, we have only a human life; afterwards, we participate in divine life...St Paul wrote to the Galatians, "For as many of you as have been baptized in Christ, have put on Christ" (Gal 3,27). On the day of our Baptism, we are born in Christ and in Him we have become that "new creature" born not of the will of man," but solely "of God" (Jn 1,13). Being born in Christ, we are to live in Christ, and walk in Christ, following the exhortation of the Apostle, "Walk ye in Him, rooted and built up in Him, and confirmed in the faith" (Col 2,6.7)....the other Sacraments are not only to restore, but also to root, invigorate, and built up our life in Christ.
2....Every sin, fault, or voluntary negligence dishonors Christ, our Head, and grieves the Holy Spirit who dwells in us. A consecrated soul, however, cannot remain content with merely avoiding sin; we must also strive to make Christ's life increase in us. In the life of nature, we grow without the help of our own wills; b but this is not true of the life of grace. Without our cooperation, it is possible for this life to remain stationary in us for twenty, thirty, fifty years after our baptism, after hundreds of confessions and Holy Communions. What a tremendous disproportion!. We may be adults, or even aged in years, but children according to grace! We must grow in Christ; and He must increase in us. The words of St John the Baptist form our program, "He must increase, but I must decrease" (Jn 3,30). see what the development of grace in us exacts - the death of the "old man" with his bad habits, faults, and imperfections, so that the "new man", the Christ-life in us, may grow to perfection.
....Your love alone, O Lord, can conquer the great inconstancy of my mind and heart, and establish them in You, so that my life may become interior, rather than exterior, centered on You and Your grace instead of on myself and the things of earth.

" The first miracle of Jesus" .
Presence of God - O Jesus. I beg You to transform my soul as You once transformed the water for the bride and bridegroom at Cana
1. Now that the cycle of Jesus' childhood has ended, the liturgy begins to speak of His public life. During the days following the Epiphany, it recalled Our Lord's baptism in the Jordan, the event which marked the beginning of His apostolate. Today it tells us about His first miracles, destined, like the Epiphany and His baptism, to manifest to the world His glory as the Son of God.
"And the third day, there was a marriage in Cana of Galilee; and the Mother of Jesus was there. And Jesus also was the marriage" (Gosp:Jn2,1-11). For the first time we see the Blessed Virgin in her maternal function as mediatrix of all graces. The Cana miracle, Jesus' first, was worked precisely because of her intercession which was so powerful that it made Jesus anticipate His hour. "My hour is not yet come", the Saviour had answered His Mother, and Mary was neither dismayed by this apparent refusal nor did she insist on her request. Secure in the knowledge of her Son and full of loving confidence in Him, she says to the servants, "Whatsoever He shall say to you, do ye." Her humility, consideration for others, faith, and trustful abandonment win Jesus, and to show us the greatness of her power over His divine heart, He grants her wish; the miracles takes place. Mary's faith is admirable; and also worthy of admiration is the faith and prompt obedience of the servants who, following Mary's advice, immediately carry out the orders of Jesus; they fill the waterpots with the water and then pour from them. Not a moment of doubt, not a protest - they simply obey. May we not learn from them how to believe, how to obey? Shall we not have recourse to Mary's powerful intercession?
2. "The water was made wine". A miracle much more wonderful than the one which Jesus performed at Cana is repeated daily on our altars; a little bread and wine are changed into the Body and Blood of Christ, and given to us as the Food of our souls. The Communion antiphon of today's Mass repeats the passage in the Gospels which speaks of the water made wine. Yes, for us pre-eminently, Jesus has "kept the good wine until now". It is the precious wine of the Holy Eucharist, inebriating our souls with His Body and Blood. means of grace, the water of our poor human nature becomes a sharer in God's divine nature; it is transformed into the sacred wine of the life of Christ Himself....Today our Lady tells us how we can and should foster this precious transformation; she says to us as she once did to the servants at the Cana feast, "Whatsoever He shall say to, do ye."
In these words, Mary invites us to that complete transformation in Christ which is effected by the generous practice of all that He teaches and commands. Let us, then, with humble, docile hearts, with lively faith and perfect abandonment, entrust ourselves to Jesus through Mary's Hands.
How encouraging it is O Lord, for me to find Your sweet Mother beside You today! Everything becomes simple and easy near Mary, beneath her maternal eye, under the protection of her powerful intercession. How good You were, O Jesus, to give us Your dear Mother to be the Mother of our spiritual life! I will follow Mary's precious advice and do everything You tell me, everything You wish me to do.